Morecambe 3 Forest Green Rovers 0: Shrimps boost their League Two survival hopes

Morecambe's Aaron Wildig
Morecambe's Aaron Wildig

Morecambe moved eight points clear of League Two’s relegation places with victory at the Globe Arena.

Jim Bentley’s players picked up their third win in five - and a first league double of the season - thanks to goals from Rhys Oates, Aaron Collins and Alex Kenyon.

Bentley made one change from the side beaten at Yeovil Town a week earlier with Aaron Wildig returning from injury and replacing the suspended Jordan Cranston.

He was rewarded with a bright, intelligent performance from Wildig, though a number of his team-mates also turned in fine performances.

Two of them combined for the opening goal on six minutes when Collins got behind the visitors’ defence and the ball made its way across goal for Oates to find the net.

Despite a strong wind, it was an end-to-end start with Ritchie Sutton clearing off the line to deny Shawn McCoulsky and Mark Halstead keeping out Christian Doidge’s close-range effort inside the opening quarter-hour.

Halstead also got the better of Udoka Godwin-Malife as the visitors looked to capitalise on having the breeze at their backs in the first half.

At the other end, Rovers keeper Lewis Ward kept out shots from Collins and Oates but could not prevent Morecambe from making it 2-0 on 35 minutes.

Piero Mingoia’s corner and follow-up cross were only half-cleared with the ball eventually falling to Collins, who took a couple of touches before firing clinically past Ward.

There was still time for Halstead to collect a Doidge header before half-time, after which the Shrimps sat in well and frustrated their opponents.

Forest Green had much of the possession but Morecambe defended well as a unit and restricted them to little in the way of genuine chances.

Halstead made a fine low save to deny Carl Winchester before Morecambe’s third arrived on 71 minutes.

Oates did brilliantly to outmuscle Paul Digby before rolling the ball across for Kenyon to sweep home his first of the season.

His second almost came four minutes later but, this time, Ward acrobatically turned behind the skipper’s long-range effort.

Steve Old ensured another clean sheet for the Shrimps when clearing George Williams’ late effort off the line as Morecambe moved up to 20th in the table with 10 games remaining.

Morecambe: Halstead, Z Mills, Sutton, Old, Conlan, Mingoia, Kenyon, Wildig (McKay 75), Oates (Mandeville 88), Collins, Bennett (Ellison 69). Subs not used: Roche, Dalby, Mendes Gomes, Hedley.

Forest Green Rovers: Ward, Godwin-Malife, Digby, Gunning, J Mills, Williams, James (Brown 57), Winchester, Grubb (Mondal 57), Doidge, McCoulsky (Shephard 69). Subs not used: Thomas, Collins, Rawson, McGinlay.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Attendance: 1,528.